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Getting Rid of Odors: Your Nose Knows You Need These Tips

New best-ever homeowner tips throughout the month, plus add your own

Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham
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1. Fragrant Paint:

 

1. Fragrant Paint:

Hate the smell of fresh latex paint? You can cut down on the odor by mixing a tablespoon of vanilla extract or a drop of lemon extract into every gallon.

2. Disposing of Odor: A stinky garbage disposer probably has build-up of grease and ground food on the underside of the rubber splash baffle that covers the drain opening. Clean with a scrubby sponge and dish detergent. Then run a lemon through it for a fresh scent.

3. The Smell of Gas: A closed-up kitchen with gas flowing from an open unlit burner can create a combustible atmosphere in as little as 10 seconds. So if you smell gas—we mean really smell gas—do not turn on the lights or use a telephone, cell phone, flashlight, or computer, all of which could create a spark, blowing the place sky high. Instead, haul everybody out of there and call the gas utility or the fire department immediately.

4. Pet Odors: Clean up the affected areas with vinegar or a urine neutralizer, available at pet stores or from veterinarians. If the smell lingers, in drywall, plaster, woodwork, etc., cover the area with a fast-drying sealer (available at home improvement stores), which should encapsulate the smell and keep odors from spreading.

5. Smoke Stink: It can help to change carpet and drapes, which hold the smell of smoke, along with any porous surface. Repainting, recarpeting and reupholstering go a long way toward eliminating the odor.

6. Cooking odors: A good ventilation system can do wonders for odors in the kitchen, not to mention steam, smoke and grease. Choose from a variety of kinds, from ceiling-and wall-mounted versions, to downdraft units, which are generally incorporated into the range.

Have your own tips? Share them below.
Hate the smell of fresh latex paint? You can cut down on the odor by mixing a tablespoon of vanilla extract or a drop of lemon extract into every gallon.

2. Disposing of Odor: A stinky garbage disposer probably has build-up of grease and ground food on the underside of the rubber splash baffle that covers the drain opening. Clean with a scrubby sponge and dish detergent. Then run a lemon through it for a fresh scent.

3. The Smell of Gas: A closed-up kitchen with gas flowing from an open unlit burner can create a combustible atmosphere in as little as 10 seconds. So if you smell gas—we mean really smell gas—do not turn on the lights or use a telephone, cell phone, flashlight, or computer, all of which could create a spark, blowing the place sky high. Instead, haul everybody out of there and call the gas utility or the fire department immediately.

4. Pet Odors: Clean up the affected areas with vinegar or a urine neutralizer, available at pet stores or from veterinarians. If the smell lingers, in drywall, plaster, woodwork, etc., cover the area with a fast-drying sealer (available at home improvement stores), which should encapsulate the smell and keep odors from spreading.

5. Smoke Stink: It can help to change carpet and drapes, which hold the smell of smoke, along with any porous surface. Repainting, recarpeting and reupholstering go a long way toward eliminating the odor.

6. Cooking odors: A good ventilation system can do wonders for odors in the kitchen, not to mention steam, smoke and grease. Choose from a variety of kinds, from ceiling-and wall-mounted versions, to downdraft units, which are generally incorporated into the range.

Have your own tips? Share them below.
 
 

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